Music keeps us together. Music moves us, it gets us going, and music keeps us together as we move. It's a lot easier to move together if we're both moved by the music. Music connects me with my partner: we connect inside the music. Music is the shared element we dance in. To dance musically I have to treat the music I dance to with love and respect, and I have to surrender to it. I can't surrender to something or someone I don't respect.
Moving together inside the music is what dancers call musicality. Musicality makes dancing delicious; nothing else does. I can learn a zillion moves, and my dancing can be technically awesome, but it doesn't begin to be delicious until I surrender to the music. I have to learn to surrender and follow the music, and follow the music in my partner, particularly when I'm leading.
The music rules, not anyone's ideas about what to dance next. Dance based on ideas is awkward and disconnected from the music and my partner; stringing a bunch of moves together is not the same thing as dancing. Dancing is an art, not the serial execution of moves. Art demands sensitivity, and taste. In Musicality lab and all our classes and workshops we teach more dancing, fewer moves. More connection, fewer steps.
Our basic step combines elements of tango and one-step. It's easy to learn; our focus is on musicality and connection rather than fancy moves and intricate steps. Our basic consists of walking with your partner in an open box step. You can learn it in a few minues, and is a lovely dance all by itself.
In Musicality lab we alternate teaching sessions with open dancing sessions so you get to try out the stuff you just learned in a few real, uninterrupted dances before we come back to teaching. We have three teaching sessions with open dancing between, and after the 3rd teaching session we put on music for those who'd like to practice with each other for a while.
1 - 3 pm on first & third Sundays, $20 per person. In the sweet and quirky upstairs ballroom at Salmon Bay Eagles, 5216 20th Ave NW in old town Ballard; the sign outside says FOE (Fraternal Order of Eagles). The ballroom floor is gorgeous old maple, very easy on feet, knees etc. It's definitely one of the best dance floors in Seattle. The bar downstairs has very reasonable drink prices, and you can bring your drink upstairs with you; just don't take it outside the building. If you don't spot street parking, consider the Swedish Hospital parking garage, across the street from the Eagles' back door (more info & a map here).